There was a time when flying was glamorous. I know it is hard to believe, but the service was excellent, you weren’t shoe horned into your seat, and speaking of shoes – you didn’t need to get undressed before getting on the plane. It was even better if you were a kid as the you were likely to get a set of pilot’s wings and even a tour of the cockpit and children enjoy like Walk in the Park.
All of that has changed today. You need to show up early to drop off your bags and then stand in a never-ending queue at security and this is if you check in online. Also, forget food on the plane. Unless your flight is 12-hours long you will probably be forced to sit, with your seat belt fastened, for the entire flight.
That’s just flying for work. What if you have the kids with you? Well, ask any busy mom and she will regale you with the joys of flying with kids. And forget about getting help from your husband as he gets worked up getting the family through the security line.
But flying with the kids doesn’t need to be torture and this article will give you some of the tricks every in-control mom needs to know to tame the tortures of the sky. It doesn’t matter if you are flying with one kid or an entire Cub Scout pack, you will want to read on.
We all know that flying isn’t what it used to be, but the first rule of flying with kids is to keep your cool – no matter what happens. This could include unscheduled bathroom breaks, surely flight staff, crying kids. You name it, you need to be prepared for it.
One way to keep your cool is to approach packing when traveling with the family in the same way you do when you travel for business. Now, you might not have everything down to one carry-on, your briefcase, and your purse but it is the mindset that matters.
Think about it, when you travel for business everything you need is within arm’s reach – you never need to fumble through your bag to find something. The same goes when traveling with kids. Baby wipes – no problem; snacks – no problem; in-flight entertainment, or even pre-flight – no problem. The first rule of flying with kids is to be cool.
Be Ready for Murphy’s Law
We all know this universal proof – whatever can go wrong will go wrong. When flying with your kids, this often means that your toddler will want to walk when you have the stroller out or will want to be carried when they are tired of walking.
How do you prepare for this? Well, it starts by giving your husband a job – after all, he needs one. Let him know that it is his responsibility to look after and, if needed, carry your child. If you have two kids, then that is why your husband has two arms.
If that doesn’t work, then another rule of thumb when flying with your kids is to ALWAYS BRING YOUR STROLLER. It doesn’t matter if it is a one-hour flight across the state or a 10-hour journey with two layovers. Having your stroller with you will help to keep Murphy at bay a bit longer.
Internet Check In
To be honest, I can’t believe people see go the counter to check in. Look you are traveling with kids, so why would you want to stand in more lines than you need to. As such, check in from the comfort of your home and get the boarding passes sent to your phone. This way you go straight to security after you drop your bags.
Ok, this one is a bit harder to hack. After all, the government is in firm control of airport security but here are a couple of tips. If you and your husband are regular travelers, then get yourselves on the TSA-prechecked list. This will put you in a shorter line you won’t need to empty your carryon bags.
Another tip is to dress for getting through security. This means slip-on shoes, no belts, and no jewelry. In addition, pack your electronics in one pouch so it is easy to take them out and send them through the x-ray machine. These two tips will save you the aggravation of dressing and undressing your kids in the security line and will mean you will spend less time trying to track down your belongings on other side.